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Slow & Steady Wins The Race

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I didn't walk or run in a race today but I did face a fear. It's only a fear that I've had for a few days but it's a fear nonetheless. I previously wrote about my possibly having shin splints. I've never had them before but have heard that they can be extremely painful and can only imagine that I stopped myself short of really hurting myself.

I went to the gym today with the thought in mind of doing some sort of cardio activity for one hour. Pretty much to sort of make up for my failing to go to the gym Friday and to pick up the slack that I placed upon myself on the bike yesterday. I walked in thinking I would do this workout on the elliptical machine. My gym has several elliptical machines but only one of which I am actually familiar with.

I said hello to the woman working behind the desk and noticed that the one elliptical I know how to use was being used. Taking notice to the fact that the other elliptical machines didn't have any cup holder for my water bottle and I can't workout without my water bottle being in easy reach. I consume roughly 2.5 - 3 cups of water during one cardio session (be it 20 minutes of 60 minutes).

I cringed to myself and looked at the ever faithful (and source of my fear) treadmill. I stepped onto the treadmill. I promised myself that if I even thought I felt my shins starting to burn, I would stop the machine and figure out another way to get in my one hour of cardio. I started slowly. I did about a 5 minute warm up at 2.5 mph and bumped myself up to 3.0 mph for the next 55 minutes. I felt my calf muscles stretching out and it felt really good.

I got a slight knot in my stomach that I took to mean that if I didn't do something, my shins were going to start to hurt. I took my mom's advice and I dug my heels into the treadmill. Just like my mom said it would, it felt weird and (if anyone would have been watching) looked funny. I walked like that for 30 seconds or so and did that a few times during the 55 minutes and didn't feel like I needed to slow down or stop.

I stretched after my workout and felt really, really good about it. I'm going to continue at this slower pace for the next couple of weeks until I no longer get the feeling like I need to dig my heels and then I'll up my speed to maybe 3.2 mph.
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